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A Definitive Ranking Of The Best (And Worst) Halloween Candy Of All Time

Halloween brings back so many specific memories. I remember the neighborhood kids all gathering in someone’s garage, face paint smeared from a night of running from house to house, and dumping out our candy into small piles. What came next was a full-on bazaar, swapping Smarties for Dots, Snickers for 100 Grands, until everyone was happy with their lots. I never understood the kids who preferred Jolly Ranchers to anything with chocolate, so I was always happy to give those up, while Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were my personal gold.

Everybody has their preference for Halloween candy. For folks on the other side of the door, I’m sure it was easy to see the excitement or disappointment in our kid faces when we got to take a handful of mini Hershey's bars, compared to a bag of pretzels or an apple (we’ll get to this contentious issue momentarily). The point is, some Halloween candy is better than others, no arguments. So here’s the list of worst to best Halloween candy out there, starting with the kind I would be quick to trade (or even give away!) to the creme de la creme that was never up for grabs.

30. Tootsie Rolls

food packaged
Victor Spinelli - Getty Images

How much do I loathe these sticky brown chunks? I would go so far as to say Tootsie Rolls are downright offensive. If you offer me this candy, I will never speak to you again. Everything about it—the shape, texture, flavor—are so repulsive. Trash.

29. A bag of pretzels

pretzels
Jenny Dettrick - Getty Images

Pretzels are not candy, but everyone recalls the one house on the block that decided to promote health and not hand out candy. Maybe it was apples or a bag of pretzels, but all you walked away with a whole lot of disappointment. For the love of sugared-up kids everywhere, please don't do this. Let the children have their day of fun.

28. Almond Joy/Mounds

almond joy
The Washington Post - Getty Images

I don't know what it is about this candy and older generations, but something seems to happen around the age of 65 where you go from hating it to loving it. I do happen to be a coconut gal, which is why I'm particularly annoyed by the treatment of this flavor. Coconuts everywhere are crying.

27. Dots

dots gumdrops
Candy Warehouse

They're stale gummies. I said it, and I stand by it.

26. Good & Plenty

good plenty
Hershey's

Just because these are totally old school does not mean they've earned their spot at modern Halloweens. Does anyone else think they taste like soap?

25. Twizzlers

red licorice
SondraP - Getty Images

No flavor here, none. Just oddly chewy hard sticks. The best thing about Twizzlers is their straw capabilities, which are still mediocre at best.

24. Hot Tamales

hot tamales candy
Peeps

What is the flavor beyond "spicy"? No, thank you.

23. Runts

runts candy
Candy Warehouse

I just don't get these. Sure, they are colorful and shaped like fruit, but you can't chew them, and sucking on them doesn't really bring any satisfaction either. Where's the appeal? If you locate it, give me a call.

22. Smarties

smarties
Amazon


Their tradability was amazing, sure. But when you actually eat them, Smarties are much too chalky and just make you salivate, as if you're eating something sour without the satisfaction of eating something sour.

21. Air Heads/Laffy Taffy

laffy taffy
Laffy Taffy

You can hate me for it, but they just have too many strikes against them. They are both hard to chew and yet soft and melt-y, and contort into weird shapes while sitting in your pocket. Your dentist agrees with me here.

20. Milk Duds

milk duds
Hershey's

Kind of just a PR nightmare, from the name to the look. The taste itself isn't horrible, but I never, ever got excited when someone was giving these out on Halloween.

19. Junior Mints

junior mints
Tootsie

I have never thought mint and chocolate should go together. Like, do you want me to brush my teeth, or actually enjoy the candy? Because I can't do both.

18. Candy Corn

still life of candy corn
Tetra Images - Getty Images

I'm not as mad at candy corn as other people. I like candy corn. But does it excite me? Sadly, no.

17. 3 Musketeers

3 musketeers
Candy Warehouse

Nougat exists in other candy bars in a more interesting configuration, so these are just kind of boring to me.

16. Charleston Chew

charleston chew
Candy Warehouse

Slightly better than a 3 Musketeer, but only because it has different flavors. Pro tip though: Eat them frozen!

15. Blow Pop

blow pop
Walmart

This one makes the middle of the list because I feel very neutral about it. It's a classic, but now as an adult, I do not get excited about a lollipop, even if it does have bubble gum in the center.

14. KitKat

kitkat
Hershey's

Half of the appeal of these is the crunchy break. Other than that, they have a great crunch, melty chocolate, and are in a fun stick form.

13. Whoppers

malt balls
Garrett Aitken - Getty Images

People have opinions about these: Either ya love 'em or ya hate 'em. I will say they lean on the dustier side, but I appreciate the change in texture and the fact that you have to really bite into these for the chocolate to crack.

12. Nerds

rainbow colored candy nerds sprinkled on a white background
Martysjahlushyk - Getty Images

I have never met a kid who didn't like Nerds. There is something so satisfying about the square cardboard box they come in, the little door they come out of, and the act of sliding the sour bits into your mouth and feeling them melt. They are sweet and colorful and fun.

11. Crunch Bars

crunch bars
Walmart

Some may argue this is simply a chocolate bar filled with puffed rice, and those people would be right. But how satisfying is that? The super creamy chocolate melts so quickly, revealing these crunchy bits of texture. For some reason, the mini versions are always preferred over the full size.

10. Milky Way

milky way candy bar
Amazon

A classic. A favorite. But when compared to its chocolate bar cousins, the Milky Way is just a little bit monotonous, a recipe that's been improved by other brands. Still, it's not Halloween without it.

9. 100 Grand

100 grand candy
Amazon

Just edging out the Crunch Bar, if only for its addition of caramel. There's such a satisfying feeling when opening up the wrapper to the cool, bumpy texture. Plus, how fun is it to say "I've got 100 Grand!" Ahhh, one can dream.

8. Twix

twix
Twix

I like what the Twix is aiming to be. If a pastry chef were to enter the chocolate bar world, this is what they would make. The components—a shortbread cookie layered with caramel and chocolate—are the best of both the cookie and candy world, plus you get two of them!

7. Starburst

starburst
Bulk Candy Store

Here's the thing about Starburst. They come individually wrapped, which meant tradability was high, and we know those pink ones were a hot commodity on the playground. Luckily, now we can just buy that single flavor without having to offload the reds and yellows.

6. Take 5

reese's take 5
Hershey's

This candy bar really just went for it, with five layers of salty and sweet all jammed into one wrapper. Chocolate, peanuts, caramel, peanut butter, and pretzels—it's like a bunch of snacks rolled into one. And I commend them for it.

5. Butterfingers

butterfingers candy
Amazon

Butterfingers is another one that is controversial, but it grabs a top spot for a few reasons. There is no other candy out there like it. The texture is so crumbly, the flavor is super unique, and there's no mistaking it for anything else.

4. Baby Ruth/Snickers

mars inc chocolate bars
NurPhoto - Getty Images

Some might be upset at me for lumping these two into the same category. But the only real difference between them is where the peanuts are located. Snickers does a better job at cosmetics by layering the peanuts chopped up in the caramel, while Baby Ruth places them whole. To me, they are both crunchy and soft with a great caramel flavor.

3. Skittles

sweets
Kirill Kukhmar - Getty Images

Colorful, unmistakable, and packing in tons of different flavors—Skittles are sugary, chewy, and just totally satisfying.

2. Reese's

food packaged
Victor Spinelli - Getty Images

You can't tell me that if you went up to a house, and they were giving out Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, that you weren't totally hyped. It's peanut butter, it's chocolate, it's nostalgia, it's joy. There's a reason we all love the TJ's dark chocolate peanut butter cups—they remind us of these times.

1. M&M's

colorful assortment of m and ms
John Greim - Getty Images

Regular, peanut, or mini, these are the top candy of Halloween (and any day, really). Practically no kid gets upset about M&M's, and they were not often up for trading because everyone liked to keep them. For that reason and so many more, M&M's reign supreme.

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For me, and many, Halloween brings specific memories. The neighborhood kids all gather in someone’s garage, face paint smeared from a night of running from house to house, and dump out our candy into small piles. Then, it became a full on bazaar, swapping smarties for dots, snickers for 1000 Grands until everyone was happy with their lots. I never understood the kids who preferred jolly rancher to anything with chocolate, but I was always happy to give those up.

Everybody had and still has their preference for Halloween candy. Ringing the doorbell of a home, I’m sure it was easy to see the excitement or disappointment in our faces when we were able to take a giant bar of Hershey's chocolate compared to a bag of pretzels (we’ll get to this). The point is, some Halloween candy is better than others, no arguments. Everybody has their thoughts and opinions. So here’s the list of worst to best Halloween candy out there, from the kind I would be quick to trade or even giveaway to the creme de la creme that wasn’t even up for grabs.

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